Dubai’s Arabtec wins $500m tall tower project

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The new tower will be built along Sheikh Zayed Road and will be one of the top ten tallest in Dubai
(AFP/Getty Images)

The new tower will be built along Sheikh Zayed Road and will be one of the top ten tallest in Dubai (AFP/Getty Images)

Arabtec Holding, Dubai’s largest publicly listed construction firm, has been awarded an AED1.8bn (US$500m) contract to build a 77-storey mixed-use tower in the emirate’s central business district, it was announced on Wednesday.

A statement to the Dubai Financial Market said that its subsidiary Arabtec Construction would build the high-rise on Sheikh Zayed Road in an area within the vicinity of Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building and another Arabtec project. Arabtec said the development was due for completion in May 2017.

The statement did not specify which company had awarded the contract, although much of the surrounding area has been developed by real estate giant Emaar Properties.

At a height of 369m, the building will be among the top ten tallest towers in Dubai. The project will contain 22,000 square metres of office space across 18 floors, a 908 sqm retail area, a 350-room luxury hotel, 180 apartments and 83 serviced apartments. Negotiations are currently ongoing regarding the hotel’s operator.

“This project is another sign of the recovery of the property sector in the UAE and the Middle East and North Africa Region,” commented Arabtec Holding CEO Hasan Abdullah Ismaik.

Other major work awarded to Arabtec includes a $272m contract to build the Fairmont-branded hotel and apartments in Abu Dhabi and a $652m deal to build a local brand of the Louvre museum, also in the UAE capital. Arabtec has become increasingly active in Abu Dhabi after investment fund Aabar Investments, which is based in the capital, became the company’s major shareholder.

Appetite among developers for major real estate projects has returned this year amid a recovery in Dubai’s property market after it collapsed in 2008 amid the global economic crisis.

According to real estate consultant Jones Lang LaSalle, property prices in Dubai have risen by 22 percent this year, although remain significantly behind their 2008 peak.

Renewed optimism among developers has seen the re-launch of previously stalled projects such as Emaar’s The Lagoons and Nakheel’s Deira Island, as well as new developments such as Mohammed bin Rashid City, which will contain more than 100 hotels.

Damac Properties, another major developer based in the emirate, announced last week plans to IPO on the London Stock Exchange in what will be a litmus test for foreign investors’ faith in Dubai’s real estate market.

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